Kedarnath helicopter crash: all seven passengers feared dead

On the morning of Tuesday in Uttarakhand’s Rudraprayag district, a helicopter carrying Kedarnath pilgrims crashed after crashing into a hill in poor visibility. All seven passengers on board were believed to have been killed.

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On the morning of Tuesday in Uttarakhand’s Rudraprayag district, a helicopter carrying Kedarnath pilgrims crashed after crashing into a hill in poor visibility. All seven passengers on board were believed to have been killed.

Primary reports state that the helicopter, which belonged to Delhi-based Aryan Aviation Private Limited, crashed mere minutes after taking off while returning from Kedarnath.

Teams from the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and the local police are on the scene conducting a search and rescue operation. However, the operation has been hampered by the nearby rain.

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A statement issued by the SDRF said the incident took place between Lincholi and Garud Chatti, and rescue teams from Kedarnath and Lincholi have reached the sight. “The search and rescue operation is going on. The helicopter was from the Aryan Company and seven people were travelling on it. Due to fog, there was less visibility and the helicopter crashed after colliding with a hill,” said the statement

Anil Singh, the helicopter’s pilot, and passengers Purva Ramanuj, Kriti, Urvi, Sujata, Prem Kumar, and Kala have been identified.

 

The disaster was mentioned in tweets by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, and the Minister of Civil Aviation, Jyotiraditya M. Scindia.

“Anguished by the helicopter crash in Uttarakhand. In this tragic hour, my thoughts are with the bereaved families: PM @narendramodi,” said the Prime Minister’s Office on Twitter.

“Got the sad news of the death of some persons in an unfortunate helicopter crash at Garud Chatti near Kedarnath. The SDRF and district administration teams have reached the spot for rescue and relief operations. An order has been issued for the detailed inquiry of the incident,” Dhami tweeted.

Scindia labelled the accident unfortunate and said they are in constant touch with the Uttarakhand state government. “The helicopter crash in Kedarnath is extremely unfortunate. We are in touch with the state government to ascertain the magnitude of the loss, and are constantly monitoring the situation,” he tweeted.